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African Banks Should Grow Tech with Customers in Mind

This is Part Two of a five-part series on Modernizing African Banking
Continue to Parts: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

African banking consultant Edward Randolph Koranteng says, as West African banks look to the future, they should focus on satisfying consumer needs.

Speaking at a recent conference in Accra focusing on banking and technology, the Ghanaian said new technological investments will help the banks broaden their scope and adopt new ways of doing things.

“Behavioral patterns have changed, and we must change, otherwise we will be out of market.”
African banking consultant Edward Randolph Koranteng

But he said the banks should not forget the importance of human interaction. “We should interact more with the customer and obtain their side of the story. Then we can come out and offer them tailor made solutions.”

West Africa has an estimated population of 300 million people, of whom some 80 percent do not have access to banks. However, rapid expansion in electronic banking systems could give room for banks to extend their reach.

Koranteng says banks can adapt their services to existing technological innovations with mass appeal among clients.

“If you place services on those gadgets, your ability to reach out to [clients] will be greatly enhanced,” he said. “Behavioral patterns have changed, and we must change, otherwise we will be out of market.”

“Any bank that does not think about the customer, has no room to survive in the coming years,” he added.

Koranteng says mobile banking could be used to reach people without bank accounts in rural communities. He says it is also important to define a new role for the bank teller.

“Twenty years ago, you only entered a bank to pay cash and withdraw cash or request for bank draft. Today we have banker assurance and products like mobile money, so the teller will have to take instant decisions. So the kind of human resource you put there must also change.”